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What is a certificate of good standing?

Most of the time, you won’t have any particular need for a certificate of good standing, but it's useful to know what they are, and what they offer.

A certificate of good standing is a
document issued by Companies House; it can be a basic document that merely
states that your company has been in continuous existence since its
incorporation and that no current action is being taken to strike the company
off the register, or it can be a more detailed document with added information.

Why do you
need a Certificate of Good Standing?

Most of the time, you won’t have any
particular need for a certificate of good standing, although some companies
like to have them purely to demonstrate that their filings are all up to date.

They can, however, be useful in specific
circumstances. A certificate of good standing may be requested by banks, when
you wish to open a new account, or by lenders as a condition of a business
loan. You may also need to provide one to potential business partners or
investors, to assure them that they’re making a good investment.

However, the main use of a certificate of
good standing is for UK businesses looking to expand abroad; the certificate
must be supplied to the registrar of the company you’re looking to establish
yourself in, so that they can see that the UK business is reliable and

What else
can the certificate include?

Because the standard details included in a
certificate of good standing are quite vague, you may need additional
information to be provided. 

Companies House can include additional information
as certified facts on your certificate; this includes the registered office
address, the names and details of the directors (such as date of birth or
nationality), the names of any secretaries, issued share capital and

Any of these details can be added upon

How do you
obtain one?

The process of getting a certificate of
good standing is quite straightforward. You can order one from Companies House
by phone, at one of their information centres in Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh or
London, or online if you’re a registered user of Companies
House Direct

In order to qualify, your company has to
have been in continuous, unbroken existence since the date of its
incorporation, and the annual returns and accounts must be filed up to date.

In addition, it must either be a private
limited company with at least one director who is a natural person (as opposed
to another company), or a public limited company with a secretary and at least
two directors, at least one of which must again be a natural person. If you’re currently
in the process of registering your company
, this is worth bearing in mind for the future.

You can choose either a same-day service or
the standard service, which takes up to four working days. If you choose the
same-day service, you can have a copy of the certificate emailed by PDF or
faxed, however these versions will not be signed. Your official certified and
signed certificate will be sent by post, or can be collected from Companies
House offices.

Bear in mind that your certificate is only
valid for three months – it’s wise to just get one when it’s necessary.

Blog supplied by Quality
Formations - a leading company formations agent, delivering a range of
bespoke formation services for businesses with an array of company structures.

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